30 April 2005


Robin Butley writes:

The right-wing populists that looked most likely to provide a serious challenge to the Tories from the right, UKIP and Veritas, seem to have been seen off by the Tories’ nasty anti-immigration campaign. But the Tories don’t appear to have drawn the sting of the British National Party, by far the most extreme xenophobes standing a significant number of candidates next Thursday (for a list and much more see the excellent Stop the BNP website here).

My moles tell me that Labour is seriously worried about the level of support for the BNP in several key seats – particularly Margaret Hodge’s in Barking in outer east London. Hodge is unpopular locally; Labour’s organisation is almost non-existent; and the Tories, who are targeting marginal Hornchurch, are almost absent in the constituency. There was an anti-BNP day of action today in Barking: I wasn’t there, but more follows when I hear from people who were.

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